Has your cat been consistently beating you at board games lately? Maybe you need some company.
Things are crazy right now and, for a lot of people, social distancing can be really hard. We are all so used to being able to see others, to hangout and play games, and enjoy the company of family and friends, that having to stay apart may lead to boredom, loneliness, and depression. Andrew and I have been working on ways to stay connected with our friends so they don’t seem so far away even when we are staying in our separate homes. Here’s a few things that have been working for us:
Discord is a free app that was designed for the gaming community to be able to chat, share images, and even stream together. Its easy to set up and offers a lot of great options. We’ve found that creating a server dedicated to our friend group allows us all to talk as if we were hanging out in the same room. We can create smaller voice channels for quieter conversations and specific text channels for things like sharing photos or recipes, talking about specific games or shows, and anything else you can think of. We’ve experimented with running roleplaying games on it as well as streaming multiplayer video games such as Stardew Valley or Jackbox games. The real win here is being able to hear all of your friend’s voices. Discord runs on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and in web browsers. You can check it out here discordapp.com
If you want to play board games you can always try Tabletop Simulator. Released in 2015, this sandbox, physics based game simulator now has a huge library of board games that you can play online with up to 10 of your friends. Unlike many board game apps, Tabletop Simulator does not control the game for you. This means you will need to move pieces, calculate points, and keep track of rules yourself, but it does give you access to many games that have not been translated into apps yet. It is also great for roleplayers who enjoy using minis. you can get tons of terrain features and figurines to flesh out your game. You can also design your own games for Tabletop Simulator in case you have some ideas you’d love to share. Learn more about Tabletop simulator at tabletopsimulator.com
Board Game Apps
As I mentioned before, there are lots of board game apps available and almost all of them include online play. Some of our favorites include:
D&D Lords of Waterdeep: Classic worker placement game with a Dungeons and Dragons theme. Available for Andoid/ios
Jaipur: the board game: Fantastic 2 player card drafting/hand management game. Great for digital dates. Available for Andoid/ios
Scythe: Digital Edition: An alternate-history area control game with mechs. It offers a lot of strategies to achieve victory plus a unique setting and story. Available for Steam
Evolution Board Game: Science-based strategy game about the evolution and survival of different species. Steam/Andoid/ios
Raiders of the North Sea: Lead your viking crew on a raiding adventure in this strategy game. It has a 10-game campaign that can be played solo or with friends. Steam/Andoid/ios
These are just a couple of ways to enjoy time with friends online. Do you have other suggestions? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter to keep the conversation going.